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Down With Dust Jackets

By January 22, 2022MJV Living

I often avoid reading large hardcover books.

Reading a huge book may look impressive from the outside. Casual observers will take notice of your book size and create a surface-level impression of you that you are smarter than you actually are. That seems like a nice positive, especially for someone as stupid as me. However, when it comes to actually reading a big fat two-hundred-pound book, the overall experience is almost all downside.

Compared to their paperback counterparts, large hardcover books are more challenging to handle while reading. Their bulkiness and weight make them difficult to carry with you. Any book that you can’t carry with you is a book that is much less likely to be read. Plus, they take up a lot of extra real estate on your bookshelf where shelf-space becomes scarcer with every new book acquisition.

Hardcover books also come with an annoying feature known as the dust jacket.

Webster’s Dictionary defines a dust jacket as:

A Dust Jacket is a stupid annoying thing that covers a hardcover book. It does not actually protect the book from getting covered in dust. A dust jacket is just a clever name for this marketing tool designed to help sell the book.  Dust jackets are also used to annoy the crap out of Mike Votava. They are really good at that.

On the front of a dust jacket there will be some artwork for the book cover. On the back is a brief book summary surrounded by some decorative blurbs from people you have most likely never heard of, showering the author with praise. The inside flaps will contain an awkward photo of the author followed by some boring sentences about where they live and how many dogs they have.

That all sounds fun and dandy in theory, but in real life dust jackets on large hardcover books suck big balls.

The first thing a dust jacket does when you pick up a monstrous tome is it falls off. Those little inside flaps are not enough to keep the dust jacket in place. And once it falls off, then what are you supposed to do with it? Do you leave it on the ground? Do you set it on the table? Do you let the cat use it as a blanket? I don’t know what the hell you are supposed to do those dumb things.

And when you’re done with your reading session, are you supposed to put the useless dust jacket back on the book knowing full well that next time you pick up the book to read the dust jacket will immediately fall off again? That’s insane. What kind of system is this?

Do you know how I handle this problem? I don’t put the dust jacket back on the book like an idiot. I put the dust jacket in the garbage because that’s what it is… garbage.

As an added bonus, hardcover books typically look way cooler on their own without the ugly dust jacket.

Dust jackets are dumb.